Governor wants pay increase for Virginia teachers - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Governor wants pay increase for Virginia teachers

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Governor Bob McDonnell wants a two-percent pay increase for Virginia teachers.

In a press conference Thursday, McDonnell said he will propose $58.7 million to support the state's share of the cost.

The catch is, each locality would need to match the funds to pay for the full two-percent increase.

If the General Assembly approves the pay raise, it would also need to pay the Educator Fairness Act. The Act would both reward teachers and "streamline" the process to fire poor teachers.

Each teacher's "effectiveness" would be contingent upon regular reviews.

"It's got to be fair and responsible," McDonnell said. "Not just based on student achievement and not just based on other factors. It would make teacher's accountable."

Along with a raise and a change in evaluation is a package of incentives. The Governor wants the state to provide grant money for math and science teachers.

Meg Gruber, President of the Virginia Education Association, said after the conference that the Governor's proposal seemed rushed.

Gruber also said the two-percent pay increase is a step in the right direction but is not enough.

"We've had rising health care costs and no raise in five years," said Gruber. "You take five and divide it by two-percent, that's about a quarter percent for each year of service and long hours. We wish had more and we hope we can find more."

Governor McDonnell stands by his plan and hopes the General Assembly will pass it in order to recruit and keep good teachers.

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